5 Tips for Running a Race: the Run Melbourne 10K

Monday, 4 December 2017
With the Spartan Trifecta close around the corner, I've been trying to find creative ways to train and stay motivated. Determined to challenge myself continually, I've started signing up for races at least once a month (October may be the death of me). After signing up for my first 10K, I began to panic. Sure, one could easily Barney Stinson a 5K, but the longer races may require a bit more training. As I signed up for my first 10K two weeks out, what could I possibly do to ensure I didn't keel over mid-race and collapse to the floor? I turned to some of my gym addicted friends for some advice and here are some of the tips and tricks suggested:

1. Vary up your runs.
If you're doing the same distance, at the same pace every single day, there's very little room for improvement. The runs will become more comfortable, but you won't get faster, and you won't be able to run for extended periods of time. Try varying the workout for faster results. What is the best suggestion for improving the distance and time of your runs? Rotate between endurance, HIIT, and active recovery runs. You'll see faster results and build the confidence to run faster and for longer periods of time. 

2. Don't forget to warm up and cool down.
I am notorious for not warming up or cooling down. Even when I was dancing hours a day, nearly every day of the week, warm-ups were not my jam. This has resulted in significant injuries throughout the years, and my old body is paying the price. When I warm up and cool down properly for a run, I find I'm able to run faster, I don't tire as quickly, and my recovery time is shortened significantly.

3. Do some strength training.
This may seem counterproductive to running, but strength training helps heaps! By adding strength training to your exercise routine, you reduce the risk of injury, help improves your form, and it can actually help you run faster. That's right! Having more power in your muscles can definitely aid in moving more quickly.

4. Have an accountability buddy
Life sometimes (often) gets in the way. It can be easy to hit snooze on your alarm, skip a workout because of the weather, or take your friends up on plans. By having an accountability buddy, you're helping one another to achieve a goal. You're there to support each other through the good, the bad, and the downright dangerously tumultuous relationship one can have with long distance running. There will be days where your buddy will push you through your slump. There will be days that you bound and leap in excitement whilst your buddy cries. No matter what, you're there to help each other succeed!

Archer is the best accountability buddy!
5. Just sign up
Sometimes the best way to kick-start your running program is to throw yourself into the deep end. Maybe don't start with a full marathon, but you'd be surprised how easy it is to complete a 5k. Start with a smaller race and eventually you'll be able to build yourself up to long distance running. For me, just signing up for a race is enough motivation to get my booty into gear. I know I'll pay the price if I'm unable to complete the race. Plus then I just wasted some hard earned money for no good reason.

I get that running isn't everyone's cup of tea. Heck, it isn't even my cup of tea. But I continue to do it because I notice the mental benefits of doing so. I find I gain so much more from my runs if I have a running buddy. What's better for your mental and physical health than getting out there and working out with a friend? Did you run the Run Melbourne race? What races have you run? Share your stories in the comments below!

And until next time...
Stay curious!

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